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Did “The Masked Singer” host the 2019 Emmys, or did it just feel like it? Chaos, after all, is the guiding force on Fox’s Emmy-nominated reality show, but it shouldn’t be when it comes to a prestigious awards ceremony. Less hubbub was made about the Emmys’ decision to go without a host than when the Oscars did it seven months prior, but while the Film Academy salvaged an entertaining telecast from the trash heap that was its lead-in (and winners’ list), the TV Academy couldn’t follow suit. Though plenty of surprise wins helped keep things interesting for die-hard Emmy fans, this year’s show didn’t feature enough personality, uniformity, or orchestrated highlights — you know, the things a host typically provides.
Even if you disagree, this much should have been clear to everyone: Going without a host for the start of the Emmys is hard enough, but drawing attention to the choice in a bit that involved dropping an animated piano on an animated character is a doubly bad idea. (RIP Homer Simpson?) It took Anthony Anderson a few beats too many to get up out of his seat and actually acknowledge to the audience he was their entertainment, and then, while frantically searching for a replacement host, he didn’t really have any jokes.
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Using said replacement (Bryan Cranston) to segue into the show could’ve worked, but if the crux of your Emmy opening is a video segment about the power of television, well, you’re in trouble. Montages usually don’t work, especially vague montages that incorporate clips from shows that aren’t even nominated. (Hello “Stranger Things”?) I get that Fox wants to attract viewers with popular shows, but you’ve got “Game of Thrones” and “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and...
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